The controversies surrounding Jeff Hardy’s championship victory over Austin Aries at Bound for Glory has settled (at least in my mindset) because Aries vs Hardy II was flat-out awesome. A-Double, no longer “wanting” what Jeff Hardy has, stated that he was going into this title match for himself–not for the fans, and certainly not for management. Aries also explained that he’s competed in ladder matches in the past for a lot less money, so clearly when it comes to the TNA Heavyweight title, he has nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Jeff Hardy’s redemption story supposedly came to a conclusion when he won the title at BFG, but Turning Point (I felt) was the true conclusion and “turning point” of his career. Sure, it’s easy to claim to be the best professional wrestler on planet earth when you win a world title. Heck, if that were the case than Hardy became the best back in 2008 and throughout 2009 by winning three-WWE World titles. Was he indeed the best wrestler back then? Whether or not he was the best, Turning Point was a different level than Jeff Hardy has ever been. Arrogantly, Aries has boasted by saying that he brought Hardy to the A-Double level at BFG, but I truly believe that Hardy made a point of the kind of wrestler he is during the course of that ladder match.
Before the match, Hardy conveyed that he would steal the show. Judging by the falls, high-impact maneuvers, new arsenal of moves, and the new added aggression, Hardy and Aries did just that. The beauty of this contest was that you felt the animosity between Aries and Hardy. Like you can honestly believe that in and out of the ring that these two don’t like each other. (Now before you smarks get on my case…) Whether this was all a part of the sports entertainment aspect of wrestling, or they really do hate each other, it doesn’t matter because it felt real.
What also made this ladder match so great was of course the jaw-dropping “holy sh-t!” moments. When Jeff climbed to the top of the ladder and Aries rushed in to knock it over, the way Hardy fell had referee Brian Hebner rush in to check on his condition… When Hardy countered Aries onslaught with a Japanese arm drag into the ladder… When Aries directed Hardy into the ladder’s spreaders… When Aries sandwiched Hardy in the ladder and then placed the steel steps over him for added measure… When Hardy used the momentum of a falling ladder to deliver a splash from across the ring… When Hardy finally climbed to the top of the ladder only to have Aries raise the championship belts even higher… Then the Swanton Bombs, Twist of Fates, Brain Busters…
And you might be inclined to think that the match was nothing more than a whole slew of monkey spots, but it told a great story of two heated rivals competing for the right to call themselves the best. That’s what ever World championship match should be about. And that’s what we got from Aries vs Hardy II.
Next month at Final Resolution, James Storm gets his long-awaited title match. Will a rivalry ensue between The Cowboy and The Enigma? Will we see a match based on mutual respect? As far as the saga with Austin Aries is concerned, if there’s an Aries vs Hardy III – sign me up!
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